Tailoring the Performance of Organic Solvent Nanofiltration Membranes with Biophenol Coatings

Fan Fei, Hai Anh Le Phuong, Christopher F. Blanford, Gyorgy Szekely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


This study reports a systematic investigation of fine-tuning the filtration performance of nanofiltration membranes with biophenol coatings to produce solvent-resistant membranes with 390–1550 g mol–1 molecular weight cutoff (MWCO) and 0.5–40 L m–2 h–1 bar–1 permeance. Six kinds of inexpensive, commercial biophenols (dopamine, tannic acid, vanillyl alcohol, eugenol, morin, and quercetin) were subjected to identical oxidant-promoted polymerization to coat six kinds of loose asymmetric membrane supports: polyimide (PI), polyacrylonitrile (PAN), polysulfone (PSf), polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), polybenzimidazole (PBI), and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The coatings were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and the morphologies were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The long-term stability of 42 membranes were tested in 12 organic solvents, including emerging green solvents MeTHF and Cyrene. The biophenol coatings led to tighter membranes with a decrease in MWCO of 12–79% at a penalty of a 22–92% permeance decrease in acetone.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-460
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Polymer Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


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